Luton Town goalkeeper quits football due to depression | inside World Soccer

Luton Town goalkeeper quits football due to depression

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Luton Town goalkeeper Craig King retires from professional football amid battle with depression
Photo: Instagram/_craigking_

Luton Town goalkeeper Craig King has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of just 20 as a result of depression.

King progressed through the academy at Kenilworth Road to make four senior appearances, and was destined to be third choice goalkeeper for the Hatters next season.

But the youngster turned down a new contract with the League Two club after becoming disillusioned with life as a professional footballer.

King said in a statement on the club's official website:

After a memorable nine seasons I have decided to leave Luton Town. This has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but after many sleepless nights I have come to this conclusion.

For the last couple of years I have been suffering from quite severe depression. The season just gone has been particularly hard for me and now I feel it's time for me to concentrate on being happy once again.

Growing up and slowly starting to despise the game I loved and adored as a boy is heartbreaking, and something I want and need to change. The only way I see this becoming a possibility is taking myself away from the professional game and starting to enjoy football at a lower level.

The club have been aware of my situation and have been amazing at trying everything in their power to try to resolve the issue. Club physio Simon Parsell and club doctor Paul Deeley have been unreal support for me and helped me through the season. Now I am at the stage where I know I can't improve my current mental state whilst being at the club.

I would like to thank every single member of Luton Town for everything they have done for me over the years. The fans who when I've played have supported me, and every single person who associates themselves with the football club.

Although my career as a player at the club has come to an end, I will always love and support the Hatters and will be forever grateful for the opportunity and memories they have given me over the past nine years.

I'm excited to see the boys win promotion next season and continue the climb up the leagues!

His admission came on the same day that Queens Park Rangers defender Steven Caulker also revealed that he had contemplated suicide as gambling and alcohol problems spiralled out of control.

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